Puma Ditches Shoe Boxes in Eco-Initiative

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(Reuters) – Sporting goods maker Puma will launch eco-friendly packaging for its sneakers next year to reduce its carbon footprint, beating governments to the punch as it kisses old-fashion shoe boxes good-bye.

Puma said it would roll out the new packaging in the second half of next year and that by putting its shoes in cardboard frames wrapped in reusable shoe bags, it would save 8,500 tonnes of paper — the weight of more than 1,400 adult elephants.

It also said the change would mean a reduction of 60 percent in water and energy used during the production process and the amount needed for transportation due to lighter packaging.

However, Puma Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz told Reuters the company would not save money with the new packaging.

“To begin with, we don’t expect to save costs with this. It may even have a negative impact in the short term. But over the long run, there should be cost savings,” he said.

“Sustainability is not only absolutely necessary considering the situation our planet is in, we as companies are also overdue to take responsibility,” Zeitz said. “We can’t wait for governments. Companies have to lead the way and we want to be among the leaders.”

Annual U.N. climate meetings have failed to achieve any major breakthrough since signing the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.

December’s Copenhagen summit was billed as the world’s best chance to agree a new treaty. Failure to achieve a treaty or the smaller goal of binding carbon cuts for rich nations has sapped momentum and is forcing a search for less ambitious solutions.

The chief executive said he hoped other companies would follow their lead.

“In changing the packaging and distribution life cycle from the ground up, we hope our new design and comprehensive solution encourages other retail companies to follow suit,” said industrial designer Yves Behar, who created the new packaging.

Puma is the world’s third-largest sporting goods maker, behind U.S. bellwether Nike and local rival Adidas.

Article by Eva Keuhnen appearing courtesy Reuters.

photo: chuckwaters83

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

  • http://twitter.com/lfeyduncan lfeyduncan

    A great inspiration for us all to re-think packaging RT @triplepundit: Puma Ditches Shoe Boxes in Eco-Initiative http://bit.ly/arVOPh

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/AugureRepMgmt AugureRepMgmt

    Way cool! RT @CleanTechies #Puma Ditches Shoe Boxes in Eco-Initiative http://bit.ly/arVOPh

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • spoettgen

    Greenwashing as its best. Meanwhile, PUMA is one of the worst offenders of human rights via its sweatshop factories and continues to pay poverty wages despite the fact that their profits are into the hundreds of millions (sometimes billions)of dollars. http://www.greenamericatoday.org/programs/sweatshops/sneakers.cfm

    But, it’s all about the packaging, right?

    • http://www.cleantechies.com Marco

      A very important aspect, agree. Another interesting aspect is the fact that they are reducing packaging, water & energy used during the production process but it will not save them money. Probably due to the fact that they have to invest in new infrastructure, etc. But long term it will…. so, will they pass this on to the consumer?

      • spoettgen

        Excellent question Marco! If history proves anything, they won’t pass it on to the consumer or the laborer. As long as consumers don’t look past the “eco-friendly” packaging, they can retain the delusion that they’re supporting something good through their purchase.

  • http://twitter.com/skygoldy skygoldy

    Puma does away with the old-fashioned shoebox — http://bit.ly/arVOPh

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter